Ready for More Blog Traffic? 6 Questions You MUST Ask Yourself First

fashion blogger traffic

If you're a blogger, the question “How can I get more traffic?” is probably on your mind a lot. It takes a ton of work getting those first 20 visitors and turning them into 200 or 2,000 visitors. But while the traffic question is definitely an important one, it's not always the most important one. Before trying to get more readers, every blogger should be able to confidently answer these six important, investigative questions first.

WHO are you talking to? 

I wrote a more detailed treatment of this question in the blog post “Choosing Your Target Audience” but it's definitely a topic worth touching on again. It doesn't matter how much traffic you're getting if the people you want to read your blog aren't reading it. And if you're not sure who you're talking to, how can you adequately speak to them? Put another way, if your ideal reader stumbles upon your blog, will they know you're writing for them? Before working to get that big traffic boost, think about who you want reading your blog. Then, do everything you can to make sure that when that person arrives, there's lots of content to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

WHAT is someone's first impression when they visit your blog?

First impressions matter a LOT, and you don't always have the luxury of a second chance when it comes to your website. Before you ask for that rush of visitors, make sure your blog is ready to receive them. Is your design cluttered? Are pages hard to navigate? Is your website slow? Are there a lot of broken links? Is your text easy to read? Are you regularly updating your site? On the internet, the greatest gift someone can give you is their attention. So make sure your blog is worth their consideration. The best time to get your site ready for a lot of traffic is before you get a lot of traffic.

WHEN should you publish and promote your posts?

Bloggers with consistently high traffic are almost always really passionate about testing and research. Getting visitors to your site shouldn't be an accident and it shouldn't be left up to chance. Be proactive by looking at the data. Research when you should publish your posts, both on your blog and on social media platforms. Try posting at different times, targeting different audiences, or using different words. Teach yourself split-testing (a blogger's best friend). Taking the time to crunch the numbers helps ensure that you'll always be in touch with where your traffic comes from, and that you'll always have in ideas in mind for how to make it better later.

WHERE are your readers?

Literally. This question connects to the “Who?” and “When?” questions above, but digging into your site demographics is so important that the “Where?” question gets its own paragraph too. Are you writing for readers in one country when most of your readers live in another? Are you writing for readers in large cities when most of your readers are in the suburbs or rural areas? Are you publishing your posts at a time that works for most of your readers, even if they live in different time zones? Are you referencing stores your readers can shop at and styling outfits appropriate to their climate? Are you using the right slang (after all, words which are just fine in one language can be incredibly offensive in another). Having a sense of where people are coming from helps you avoid being taken by surprise.

WHY should people read your blog?

If you're skimming this article, and you only have time to read one section, make it this one. The mantra of, “If you build it, they will come” doesn't apply anymore, and it hasn't for a long time. There are millions of blogs out there, and hundreds of thousands of fashion blogs (not to mention all the other social media platforms and forums people can spend their free time on). If you want people to pay attention to your site in particular, they need a reason to visit you specifically. It is absolutely time well-spent to come up with what that reason is. Are you helping people?  Making them laugh? Giving them something to think about? This is important because the honest truth is, if you don't know why people should read your blog, no one else is going to know either. Approach this like a 4 year old: ask yourself why, come up with an answer, then ask yourself why again. Keep doing this until you run out of answers.

HOW will you plan ahead?

As fashion bloggers, we're in an industry that's all about getting caught up in the moment. Fashion is inherently fast-paced and transient, and it can be easy to get caught up in that mindset and forget to think ahead. And when that happens, you're not running your blog anymore…it's running you. Plan ahead. Formulate a 12 month strategy so you have a sense of goals that need to be reached. Schedule breaks and vacations so you don't get burned out or overwhelmed. Develop a moderation, comment, and social media policy before you get a lot of activity so you already know how you'll respond to situations that come up. Do a brand audit of yourself and see if you're doing or saying things now that could turn out to be a problem when you have more readers. Have a plan in place in case your website crashes or gets hacked. Have some ideas about how you'll accommodate changes in your own lifestyle, personality, or relationship status. Whatever form it takes, planning ahead, before you get a lot of traffic, is so important.

What are the questions you think bloggers should ask themselves before thinking about more traffic? Do you have any advice for getting more visitors or for making your website traffic-friendly?

 

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27 Responses

  1. Hope Howland

    Fabulous advice! Thank you…
    Hope
    hchdesigns.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • Cora Harrington

      You’re welcome! I’m glad it was useful to you.

      Reply
  2. Jenn Staz

    Ready for more traffic or not– it’s always the delicate balance of making sure you’d still want to blog even if you stay at your level of 20 visitors. People will want to return and spread the word if they feel a strong sense of passion behind your blog from the blogger.
    Therefore, yes, planning ahead is a huge, important step. Before you decide if you’re ready for more traffic (or if will be secondary to you), make sure to plan ahead to make sure you’re going to be in it for the long haul. Ultimately it can take quite a while for a blog to grow roots and to be as successful as some of your own favorite blogs, so it’s best not to get discouraged by bad stats.

    Reply
    • Cora Harrington

      Exactly! Your readers can tell when you’re passionate about your topic or when you’re just going through the motions and having a realistic long-term plan is so important for frustration or misplaced expectations. Great comment.

      Reply
  3. olga

    Great advice! Very,very helpful – have to try posting at different times and days.
    Thanks a lot

    Reply
    • Cora Harrington

      I hope you get some interesting information from your experiments! Being willing to play with what you’ve done before is all part of being a better blogger.

      Reply
  4. Adela

    Great article as always! I really need to pay more attention to my analytics..
    Adela x

    Misspinkstyle.net

    Reply
    • Cora Harrington

      Awesome! I’m glad you got a takeaway from the piece.

      Reply
  5. Juliana Bui

    Every post makes me really think through everything that I do as a blogger and how I can improve my blog, because there’s always room for improvement. The IFB articles help me so much because after reading them, I know how to narrow down the little things (and sometimes big things) that I have to change. Thank you so much for the tips!

    – Juliana
    http://cocoandpicasso.blogspot.ca/

    Reply
  6. Miranda

    I think that it is super important to make sure you have correct grammar and worth while posts that are directed towards most of your followers. So if you have 3 female followers and 100 male followers you don’t just want to post stuff about females. I also think that if you want more page views you have to find things that are unique about your blog, like when you are promoting your blog you don’t want people to look and say oh its JUST another blog about fashion, you want them to say wow that looks super cool and unique.
    Miranda
    mirandarue.wordpress.com

    Reply
  7. laura redburn // cardboardcities

    knowing where the biggest percentage your audience is from is really useful! it means you can target them more and expand on it. though if you’re not reaching your target audience definitely means you need to do a little more research into what attracts people to your blog 🙂

    Reply
  8. Julz

    This is very helpful! And very great tips! So therefore I thank you for this and all of the team!
    I just have a question, I just started blogging 3 months ago and I must first say uhm I have a sarcastic sense of humor and a funny sweet personality! I dont know if you have you or your team has written over the past about how to show your personality through the passion of writing because I really want the viewers to get to know my personality and my sense of humor that will make them come back for more of my personality and my fashion blog itself. Do you have any tips on how to show your personality through the passion of writing about fashion especially? Or any of you member of ifb have any ideas?
    That will be awesome! Thanks!
    ~Julz

    Reply
    • Mariah

      I try to do the same thing. I’ve always gone with train-of-thought style writing, but I go back and edit later. When I write train-of-thought, I can end up with some really long sentences! Writing whatever comes to mind is a great way to show my personality, and hopefully yours 🙂

      Reply
  9. Kenneth Jacobs

    The WHO and WHERE sections definitely hit home! As a male blogger, I was posting for male readers, but trying to connect with female readers…It doesn’t hurt to have female readers (you’re all welcome anytime!) but I haven’t connected with other male bloggers or readers yet!

    A total “DUH” and “OHHHH” moment. LOL

    xoxo Kenneth
    http://www.thefashionatefotobug.com

    Reply
  10. Patsy Marie

    I know this is probably going through a lot of bloggers heads but I’ve been thinking a lot about the “How” this week in perticular & then I stumbled across this wonderful post that was very much needed !! My blog was getting a lot more traffic in the first month compared to now although I can’t say I’m stressed ,because I’m on month 3 . Although I do know part of the reason traffic slowed there’s all these things I wasn’t taking into consideration . I think you should treat your blog as a business not for the income but just in general to have a more organized and smooth running blog. ( that came out a little weird I know )

    I think the two most important questions are who and where your readers are . Everything in this post is super important to not be overlooked but if your going to I would definitely say start off with knowing who your speaking to and them where are they . Very important .

    Patsysfashionfiles.blogspot.com

    Reply
  11. Tiffany Booth

    Great tips! Thanks so much for helping us keep up our blogs. It’s really nice to get these articles and it’s a great reminder for me to keep things updated 🙂

    Reply
  12. Nasreen

    I find it quite hard to come up with WHY do readers come to my site? I mean, I love fashion-everything from knowing models to beauty trends to high fashion designers..everything. I started a personal style blog but I like to touch on other news too. Because I’m showing my style and SO many others are too, it’s hard to find reason to make them stay and come back. I rack my brains over this but sometimes I can’t seem to understand my own reasons.

    http://lazyobsession.blogspot.ie/2013/05/oasap-summer-giveaway.html

    Reply